Coca Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) says it will invest P600 million over the next five years in expanding its infrastructure and capacity in Botswana, a market it sees as key in its African footprint.
CCBA’s managing director for Southern Africa, Norton Kingwill said the investment was part of the plans to double the business in the next “three or even two years”.
The multi-billion dollar group took over Coca Cola’s local operations last December, after separation from Kgalagadi Breweries Limited’s exit, a period characterised by supply interruptions in the local market.
Kingwill said already the local market had proven robust, anchoring the plans to further expand.
On Monday, Coca Cola Beverages Botswana (CCBB) officially re-opened its returnable glass and can lines, with the cans due to also be exported to Namibia.
“Our business has exceeded our expectations and we have to change our structure and invest much more in Botswana than we expected,” he said, speaking at the re-opening ceremony.
“Our top line has grown by more than 30% year-on-year and there’s more to go.
“The opportunity we have been able to see in this market has been great.
“In the next five years, we will be investing more than P600 million in infrastructure and capacity.”
Kingwill said with the ease of doing business in Botswana and opportunities in the market, there was room for CCBB to double its business within two years.
“This is not just growth in capacity, it means growth in jobs as well, moving from the 450 people we currently employ,” he said.
Investment, Trade and Industry minister, Bogolo Kenewendo said CCBA was living up to commitments it had made to the Botswana government on its plans for Botswana.
“I understand that you would like government to guarantee some facilitation going forward and I can say we are pro-industry and we will do that,” she said.
“We have said one of the key things we are doing is facilitating both foreign and domestic investment and we will your partner as you grow in Botswana.”
In Africa, Coca Cola has operations in 13 countries with 34 bottling plants serving 250 million consumers. For the Coca Cola group, CCBA is the eighth largest bottler in the world.